Behavioral Flexibility – The ability to be flexible enough in your behavior so as to communicate with someone in a way that is meaningful and influential to them. Sort of like an undercover cop pretending to be a criminal so that other criminals will trust him/her. It is often used when you want someone to behave differently. By being flexible and sometimes uncharacteristic in your behavior, you can “get through” to some people you wouldn’t normally be able to get through to.
Example – Bill was acting so irrational the other day, I thought he was going to start crying. It was nice to see that Susan had the behavioral flexibility to pretend she was going to quit because of what Bill was upset about. This calmed him down and made him realize that his behavior might have been a bit over the top.
Emotional Trigger – A strong emotional reaction to a stimulus, usually stemming from repressed emotions (typically negative).
Example: When I was young, my stepfather would get drunk and yell at me. Now when I’m around people that drink, I get emotionally triggered and just want to leave the situation.
Fight or Flight Response – When fear becomes so prevalent, you behave as if you are in danger. You either stay and face the danger (fight), or run to avoid the danger (flight). This does not always mean actual fighting or running away, but the feeling of wanting to do so is dominant.
“Freeze” can happen too. I have a friend that told me she froze when she was about to get struck by a car. She couldn’t move, even know the car was heading straight for her. It was as if her brain stopped processing for that moment.
Example: When my boss yelled at me, my fight or flight response kicked in. I know I wasn’t in real danger, but I felt like hiding under my desk!
Homestasis – In the body, when internal conditions are relatively stable. When I talk about the homestatic state, I refer to when the body is not affected by negative emotions, or in any sort of excited or triggered state. It’s the equivalent of rest with no worry. Being in the present moment can do this too.
Example: After a breakthrough, the emotions wane and the body calms to a more homeostatic state.
Intrinsic – Belonging naturally; Essential. I use “intrinsic” typically to denote something with which we are born.
Example: We are born able to experience happiness; therefore, happiness is intrinsic.
Primal behavior – Our intrinsic responses to stimuli. Fear of loud noises or falling, for example. Primal behavior is very unconscious, and something we are born with. It is not learned, it is part of our wiring.
Example: He was so angry, he behaved uncharacteristically mean spirited. The behavior was very primal, as if he was responding from a deep-rooted fear.
Rapport – A mutual trust and comfort between people. Rapport can develop when you like someone else even when you don’t know why you like them.
Example: When I met her at the airport, we developed an immediate rapport. It felt like we knew each other for years.
Trigger – An emotional reaction to something, typically negative.
Example: When he let the garbage overflow onto the floor, I got triggered because it was like he didn’t care about me at all.